Singapore’s MICE Sustainability Roadmap was unveiled yesterday by the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) and Singapore Association of Convention & Exhibition Organisers & Suppliers (SACEOS) at Marina Bay Sands.
The said roadmap is the second such initiative, following the launch of the Hotel Sustainability Roadmap early this year. They are guided by the Singapore Green Plan 2030 and United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
There are three targets in the MICE Sustainability Roadmap:
- Develop a set of sustainability standards by 2023 that the industry can readily apply and aim to be internationally recognised by 2024.
- For all six purpose-built business events venues (Changi Exhibition Centre, Raffles City Convention Centre, Resorts World Convention Centre, Sands Expo and Convention Centre, Singapore EXPO, Suntec Singapore Convention & Exhibition Centre) and 80 per cent of SACEOS members to obtain internationally or nationally recognised sustainability certification – or both – by 2025.
- For the industry to start tracking waste and carbon emissions by 2023, to reduce waste as aligned with the Singapore Green Plan by 2030 and achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 in line with the national net-zero target.
To achieve these targets, STB and SACEOS also set up a MICE Sustainability Committee (MSComm) in August 2022 to raise awareness of sustainability efforts and best practices, rally the industry to adopt eco-friendly practices, and deepen green competencies.
Edward Koh, STB’s executive director, conventions, meetings & incentive travel, and co-chair of MSComm, stated: “Event delegates and corporate travellers are increasingly concerned about the environment, prompting event organisers to turn to destinations that make sustainability a priority. It is imperative that Singapore’s MICE industry evolves to meet the growing demand for responsible business travel.”
Koh added that the roadmap was important so as to help the industry standardise measurements, have a “clear direction and targets”, and prevent “greenwashing” through third-party verification.
Adam Piperdy, CEO of Unearthed Productions, an event organiser, told TTGmice: “We event organisers are in a position where we can influence a lot of change, and set the tone for delegates. For example, we inform them to bring their own water bottles as we’re not serving anything in a plastic water bottle. That way, we set the tone, people follow it, and then we measure it.”
He shared that Unearthed Productions started their sustainability journey four years ago when they realised the amount of waste that was produced after each mass participation event.
“We started by using reusable furniture, such as pallets transformed into box chairs. In fact, when event organisers become more sustainable, they are actually saving costs by reusing what was previously built, while saving the environment at the same time,” Piperdy pointed out.
As to whether sustainable events tend to be more costly, Koh opined: “There is a clear consumer demand, and many business travellers and event organisers are asking similar (sustainability-related) questions. The issue is (the level of) demand. Once a greater demand is created, the cost (to run sustainable events) becomes more manageable.”
Unearthed Production also started its application process for the internationally-recognised ISO 20121: Sustainable Events Management System Certification earlier this year, which Piperdy hopes to obtain by early next year after audits are completed.
The MICE Sustainability Roadmap was launched at Sands Expo and Convention Centre, the first carbon-neutral business events venue in Singapore, and in partnership with Climate Impact X and Unearthed Productions to ensure a low-carbon and low-waste event.